Majority feel 2018 was a good year, survey finds

We polled the nation on whether they had had a good year, whether their financial situation had improved and whether they had gone on holiday

A majority of respondents said they had a positive 2018
A majority of respondents said they had a positive 2018

People across the board have judged 2018 to be a good year for them, a MaltaToday survey has found.

Asked to look back on the past 12 months, 69% of people said 2018 was a good year. Only 9.1% said 2018 was a bad year for them.

However, it appears people were less positive this year than last year when 77.3% had judged 2017 to be a good year.

Even so, this year’s judgement tallies with the expectation people had of 2018. In last year’s survey, 66.4% had expected 2018 to be better than 2017.

The latest MaltaToday survey showed that men were more positive about the outgoing year when compared to women.

72.9% of men said 2018 was a good year for them, while 58.3% of women felt likewise.

The level of positivity dropped the older people got.

The young reserved the best judgement with 76.8% saying 2018 was a good year, while 55% of the elderly (65+) delivered a positive judgement.

On a regional basis, people living in the Northern region displayed the highest level of positivity with 72.1% saying 2018 was a good year.

These were followed by Gozitans, among whom 69.7% said judged 2018 to be a good year.

People in the South Eastern region were the least likely to judge 2018 as a good year, with 55.8% giving a positive assessment.

Labour Party voters appear to have had an overwhelmingly positive year in 2018 with 81.5% saying the past 12 months were good. Nationalist voters were less optimistic.

44.1% of PN voters judged 2018 to be a positive year and 42.1% stood in the middle. While 13.9% of PN voters judged 2018 to be a bad year for them, only 5.7% of PL voters said 2018 was bad.

Fewer women than men saw improved personal finances in 2018

The survey aslo found that women were significantly less likely than men to have seen their personal financial situation improve over the past 12 months.

While 35.3% of women polled at the start of December felt that their personal finances had taken a turn for the better in 2018, the vast majority (53%) reported an unchanged situation from 2017.

The figures provide another facet to the gender pay gap recorded by the National Statistics Office and other research. It is estimated that women in Malta work for ‘free’ for almost a month-and-a-half given what they earn when compared with men.

The MaltaToday survey found that 50.1% of men felt their financial situation improved in 2018 when compared to the previous year.

But the survey found little difference between men and women who felt their financial situation had worsened in 2018. While 11.7% of women reported worsening personal finances, there were 10.1% of men in the same predicament.

Overall, 2018 saw people better off financially than the previous year. The survey found that 53.1% of people reported improved personal finances in 2018, while 36.4% said their situation was unchanged. The rest (10.5%) said their personal financial situation got worse.

The biggest improvement in personal finances was registered among those aged between 36 and 50 with 49.8% indicating a better situation in 2018 when compared to 2017.

The least likely to register improvement in their financial situation were those aged 65 and over with an absolute majority (52.8%) reporting an unchanged situation in 2018. There were 33.8% of the elderly who said 2018 saw them better off than 2017.

On a regional level, financial improvement was highest among Gozitans with 56.9% saying their personal financial situation had improved in 2018. This was followed by the Southern Harbour region where 49.5% of people reported improved financial standing over the past 12 months.

The least improvement in personal finances was registered in the Northern region with 34.2% saying their situation was better off in 2018.

But political allegiance also coloured the way people perceived their financial situation.

While 72.6% of Labour Party voters felt, their financial situation had improved in 2018, only 14.9% of Nationalist Party voters felt the same.

 A quarter of PL voters said their financial situation was unchanged from 2017 and only 2.4% said it got worse.

The vast majority of PN voters (58.1%) reported an unchanged personal financial situation over the past 12 months, while just over a quarter (26.9%) said it got worse.

Majority have holidayed abroad

If going abroad on holiday is a measure of affluence 2018 appears to have been a bonanza year because an absolute majority opted for a break overseas.

The MaltaToday survey found that 52.9% of people went abroad for a holiday in 2018, an upward movement on the 47% who said they holidayed abroad in 2017.

The strongest numbers of those who went abroad in 2018 were among those aged 36-50 (64.1%) and 18-35 (62.3%).

The least likely to have gone abroad for a holiday were those aged 65 and over with only a quarter having done so in 2018.

An absolute majority of people living in the Western, Northern and Gozo regions went abroad for a holiday, while an absolute majority of people living in the Southern Harbour, Northern Harbour and South Eastern regions did not.

In the Northern and Western regions 57.9% holidayed abroad. This appears to contrast with the response over personal finances that showed how the least improvement was registered in the Northern region.

The apparent discord could be a result of people understating their personal financial situation or despite not registering improvement they were still comfortable enough to take an overseas holiday.

The highest number of people who did not holiday abroad were in the South Eastern region with 57.9% saying they did not travel overseas in 2018.

The survey found that a bigger majority of Nationalists went abroad for a holiday than Labour voters. While 56.8% of PN voters said, they holidayed abroad in 2018, 51.4% of PL voters did likewise.

Survey Methodology

The survey was carried out between Thursday 6 December and Friday 14 December. 597 respondents opted to complete the survey. Stratified random sampling based on gender, region and age was used to replicate the Maltese demographics. The estimated margin of error is 4.2% for a confidence interval of 95%.

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